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Ten Thoughts on the NFL

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

1) Three overtime games in the NFL this week and another tie, but at least it wasn’t a stinky 6-6 tie like last week. This time we saw some action in the Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals 27-27 game from London, England. Which begs the question, since “football” in London is different than American Football, and ties are commonplace, I wonder if the fans there appreciated the tie?

2) The Oakland Raiders had two teams records fall on Sunday agaisnt the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. First they were flagged for 23 penalties, which is not only a new Raider mark, but it’s also the most in the history of the NFL.

They overcame the numerous blunders, in part because Derek Carr threw for a team record 513 yards.

3) At 30 years old, the New York Jets’ Matt Forte is on pace for over 300 rushing attempts for only the 2nd time in his career. As a rookie with the Chicago Bears in 2008 he had 316 carries, this year he has 157 through 8 games. He’s averaging a career worst 3.5 yards per carry so I’m not sure why more attempts aren't going to Bilal Powell and his 7.1 yards per carry.

4) Is there a trash talking line you shouldn’t cross?

Like maybe telling someone you’ll eat their children?

That’s Derek Wolfe of the Denver Broncos talking about Philip Rivers’ kids.

I can see dropping some “Your Momma” jokes on the field, but talking about a man’s kids seems a bit far.

5) The Buffalo Bills just got spanked by the New England Patriots, but at 4-4, they are still in the playoff mix. They have a tough game this weekend in Seattle, but after that they have their bye week to heal up and get ready for a stretch of winnable games.

They received some good news when wide receiver Percy Harvin decided to un-retire and join them for the final half of the 2016 season. When healthy, Harvin has proven to be an electric player, and the Bills’ O could use some more play-makers.

6) Another wide out ready to come out of retirement is the 42 year old Terrell Owens, who tweeted that he’s available to help out one of his old teams, the Philadelphia Eagles.

Even though Philly QB Carson Wentz is having a fine season, his receiving corps have been shaky.

Owens has always kept himself in great shape, but as they say, Father Time is undefeated.

Then again, with the latest news of Philadelphia WR Josh Huff being arrested for possession of marijuana and a firearm, the Eagles may be forced to give T.O. a shot.

7) Another team in the playoff hunt is the 4-4 Tennessee Titans, led by a fantastic 1-2 punch of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. Running behind a very good offensive line, Murray is #2 in the NFL in rushing (756 yards), partly because he’s back in a scheme that suits him after playing in Chip Kelly’s Eagle offense last year. And when the 220 pound Murray needs a blow, they bring in the even bigger Henry (247 pounds).

Quarterback Marcus Mariota continues to look like the franchise player they thought they were getting when they plucked him #2 overall last year.

Defensively, 30 year old Brian Orakpo has already matched his sack total of a year ago (7), and the Titans are tied for 3rd in sacks through 8 games. They are also 5th defensively against the rush.

8) The Patriots made the biggest noise at the trade deadline this year when they traded Pro Bowl linebacker Jamie Collins to the Cleveland Browns. The Pats usually make the right decisions regarding their own players, so I fured something would be revealed at some point about Monday’s trade.

In a recent article by Will Brinson, he discusses that Collins’ play has slipped this year, that he’s not a fan of watching/studying football and he freelances too much for New England head coach Bill Belichick.

Brinson sums it up perfectly;

Jamie Collins wants a bunch of money in the offseason

Jamie Collins keeps going off script

Jamie Collins isn't a big fan of watching football

Elandon Roberts is capable of doing that job at a much cheaper cost

Makes sense to me.

9) It’s never too early to talk NFL Draft, and is looking at draft needs for all 32 teams. Here’s how they have the Chicago Bears, currently sitting in the #3 spot.

Top needs: QB, DB, TE

Analysis: Jay Cutler's dead cap money drops dramatically, which could lead to his departure. The Bears have spent their last couple of early round picks on their defensive front, but now they need to look to sharpen their secondary. Adding a well-rounded tight end should be a possibility.

10) When watching the game on Monday Night, it seemed to me that the Bears were able to get to Vikings’ QB Sam Bradford without blitzing much and this stat from ESPN confirmed what I saw.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Bears blitzed Bradford on just three of his 42 dropbacks Monday night, but pressured him on 12 of them. They sacked him five times, hit him on nine others and limited him to 116 passing yards on 23 attempts in the first three quarters.

I know the Viking o-line is pretty bad, but the Bears have actually been getting good pressure these last few weeks. If the pass rush can keep coming along as they start to get their injured players back, this defense could help the Bears go on a little 2nd half run.

They ended the 1st half of the season at 2-6, could they flip that and and up .500 on the year?